Can you delete yourself from the Internet? - New York News

Can you delete yourself from the Internet?

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Ever check yourself out? I mean on the web. There's probably a lot more out there of you than you might think or know about.

Too many web appearances to remember, like a photo of Mabel Rose and me. (The wife made me put on that silly coat. no, really, she did!) Or a Facebook photo from Halloween a few years back. What if I want it gone?

"Obviously you can pull yourself off social networks," said Lance Ulanoff of Mashable.com. "You can contact them directly, they'll even let you download the entirety of your archive, Facebook and Twitter will let you do this. So, you can do all that before you vaporize your account."

Ulanoff said it's fairly easy to deactivate and lose your social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Account Killer and similar website exist to help you do just that.

But getting yourself off the Internet entirely -- disappearing from cyberspace altogether -- well, that's virtually impossible.

"You leave a digital trail of bread crumbs wherever you go and that means they type your name in Google and they don't just see one place, they see dozens of places where you may have had some sort of activity," Ulanoff said.

Getting off individual websites, like Google, is doable.

"If you really want Google to expunge the existence of you online, so people can't find an index of you, yeah, you can go there and they can do it," Ulanoff said. "But, you have to prove that you're you."

If you prove it's you then you will likely disappear from Google.

Sites like reputationchanger.com and reputation.com tell you "the Internet is the new first impression" and promise to "control your online image."

But website operators, in general, are under no obligation to remove content unless they get a court order. And by the time you get that you might already be on another website.

"I see virtually no way to really, without weeks and maybe months of work, to get rid of every single bit of your online existence," Ulanoff said.

And even then, you might live on in cyberspace.

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